WATCH: Middle Schoolers ‘Rise Up’ & Inspire The World

WATCH: Middle Schoolers ‘Rise Up’ & Inspire the World

This article is part of a series on that showcases the remarkable individuals, achievements, success stories, and acts of kindness found in schools throughout America. For more inspiring profiles, visit

Kenyatta Hardison, the director of the choir, wanted to share a video of her approximately 30 choir students rehearsing the song "Rise Up" so that parents could witness their children in action. However, her post on Facebook Live reached a much larger audience than just the parents of students at Baltimore’s Cardinal Shehan School.

Since then, the video has garnered over 20 million views across multiple platforms and even led to a live performance on Good Morning America for the students.

"It’s been absolutely amazing, receiving heartwarming messages from all over the world," expressed Hardison to GMA. "I’ve been getting messages from London, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Texas, France – it’s just everywhere."

As the students’ message of hope and their dedication continued to resonate weeks after the initial Facebook post, the singer-songwriter Andra Day, who created "Rise Up," sent a video message to the students through GMA. She expressed how deeply moved she was by their powerful video and thanked them for sharing their gifts, passion, and honesty.

In the original Facebook video, Hardison described the performance as "not perfect, but imperfectly perfect." These words, along with the students’ voices, spread the video worldwide, generating countless comments of appreciation.

"This touched my heart so much! Keep inspiring kids through music!" wrote a Facebook user who identified herself as a breast cancer patient, according to The Washington Post.

Eleven-year-old John Paige, a sixth-grade soloist in the video, conveyed to ABC News, "God has blessed us with gifts that he wanted us to have, and I’ve said this a bazillion times and I’m going to say it again: We have a purpose here. You have a purpose in life, and our purpose, I think, is to make people happy when we sing songs."

Each student has their own personal reasons for singing. Kai Young, an 11-year-old sixth-grader in the choir, shared with ABC that he sings for his 90-year-old grandmother to give her hope.

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  • ewanpatel

    I'm a 29-year-old educational bloger and teacher. I have been writing about education for about six years, and I have a B.A. in English from UC Santa Cruz. I also have a M.A. in English from San Francisco State University. I teach high school English in the Bay Area.